A dozen construction workers in Odenton, Maryland were transported to local hospitals on Tuesday, July 17 after apparent carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning, according to local fire officials.
Crews began working on a federal credit union building around 5am Tuesday morning and between 8am and 9am, several workers began feeling sick, prompting a call to 911. According to CBS Baltimore, propane powered saws were being used indoors that morning and is the likely cause of the incident.
When firefighters arrived, they measured carbon monoxide levels of up to 850 parts per million (ppm) inside the credit union. According to the CSPC, ppm amounts as low as 70 can cause symptoms like headaches, fatigue, and nausea. At sustained levels of 150 to 200 ppm, more severe symptoms like disorientation, unconsciousness, and death are possible.
3 of the victims were treated for serious symptoms and the other 9 were treated for possibly serious symptoms. Fire officials stayed on the site after the workers were transported to ventilate the building and bring the inside air down to safe levels.
As a reminder, CO is a colorless and odorless gas that is otherwise undetectable until symptoms appear. Even small propane powered tools have the ability to quickly fill an indoor space with CO. The CDC has a few recommendations to reduce the hazards of carbon monoxide on the jobsite, including not allowing gas powered equipment to be used indoors unless the engines can be located outside and away from air intakes and educating employees to recognize the common signs of CO overexposure. Electric powered or compressed air equipment should be used indoors, when possible. If it is impossible to avoid using gas powered equipment, employees can be outfitted with personal CO monitors to alert them if unsafe levels have been reached.
Full story: 12 Hospitalized After Carbon Monoxide Poisoning At Credit Union | CBS Baltimore
Falls are, by far, the leading cause of fatalities in the construction industry, accounting for nearly 40% each year. That fact is the main reason why personal fall protection devices are so heavily stressed in the industry. But, even if your fall is arrested by a harness, you’re not out of the woods yet, as serious complications can happen while you’re being suspended in the air.
We all know – or, at least, should know – about construction’s Fatal Four Hazards: Falls, Struck-by, Caught-in or Between, and Electrical. Those hazards get most of the attention in most safety training courses in construction and rightfully so, they contribute to a large majority of all deaths on the jobsite. A recent study, however, highlights the need to take certain health hazards more seriously, due to their long term effects.
Summer is officially upon us and beating the heat will keep you healthy and productive. There are many summer dangers on construction sites, but OSHA maintains that water, rest, and shade are the most important factors to avoiding heat illness. Here are a few products to help keep you and hydrated on your jobsites this summer.
In March of 2018, an under construction pedestrian bridge on Florida International University’s (FIU) campus collapsed onto an open street below, killing 6 and injuring several others. Many investigations and lawsuits are still ongoing after the tragedy, but OSHA has released their official report after a roughly 14 month long investigation.
According to a 2016 study by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the construction industry sadly ranks first in total suicides and second in suicide rate compared to all other industries in the United States. In response, OSHA has recently published a webpage with resources to help prevent suicides in the construction industry.
As a storm blew through the Dallas, Texas area on Sunday afternoon, a tower crane standing near an occupied apartment building collapsed causing at least one fatality and 6 injuries.
The lockout/tagout (LOTO) procedure has been one of the critical elements of electrical safety training on construction sites for a decade. Generally, it’s pretty simple: if you need to work on an energized circuit or piece of equipment, shut down the breaker, put a lock on it so no one can turn it back on, and place a tag on it with your information. OSHA is considering updating the standard now and is currently requesting information from interested parties.
As the United States just recently suffered another tragic and deadly construction incident involving civilians after a crane collapsed in Seattle over the weekend, we’re reminded that the bridge collapse on FIU’s campus in Miami in early 2018 still has many unanswered questions.
For the past 3 years, Seattle, Washington has had the most construction cranes out of any United States city. But, as we know, from various videos and news stories, a crane collapse can have absolutely devastating consequences. On Saturday, a crane collapsed in downtown Seattle onto an open road below, killing two construction workers, 2 pedestrians, and injuring several others in the process.